Ruskin was a major figure in the 19th century; a philosopher, artist, critic, traveller and collector. How To See, written by Kevin Jackson and drawn by me, is an exploration of some of Ruskin's ideas about visual perception and how it affects the way we live. Sounds complicated? It's not. It's conceived and drawn to be understood by children, and is funny and easy to read. Hey, I mean it!
How To See is the second in our projected trilogy of Ruskin Comics. The first, published a couple of years ago, was How To Be Rich. The Ruskin Foundation's current drive includes a series of workshops for children in museums (I'll be doing a couple in Birmingham) based around Seeing. There's also a whacky Looking Tube - a fold-up cardboard device - an educational gadget - that comes with the How To See comic (when bought from the Foundation). And there is an excellent new website which introduces Ruskin and his world - www.ruskin.org.uk
You can get How To See (minus the Looking Tube, I'm afraid) from the Largecow Shop. I also have a limited number of copies of How To Be Rich.
I've added a Ruskin Section to the Largecow Gallery - do take a look.
Along with the launch of How To See at Brantwood, John Ruskin's big house on Lake Coniston in the Lake District, I have an exhibition of 20 frames of comics and drawings. The exhibition, titled 30 Years of Big Noses, runs from 15th May to 29th June 2008. It's a small retrospective, including comics pages from 1977 to now.
Brantwood is one of the loveliest spots in the world, and is the Ruskin museum. If you're in the Lake District, it's well worth visiting, even if it doesn't have my exhibition on show.
Find out more about Brantwood at: www.brantwood.org.uk
I was at Brantwood, along with Kevin Jackson, the writer of the Ruskin Comics, on the 15th for the exhibition and comic launch. We had a great couple of days: lovely weather, stunning scenery, good food and excellent people - making you jealous? Sorry...
The North West Evening Mail has a report of the Launch: www.nwemail.co.uk/news/1.109350
Brantwood has an apartment, where I stay when I'm there. I get to sleep in the room that Ruskin died in (he went mad at the end of his life, you know). It's supposed to be haunted. The first night I slept there, I sat up in bed (not his bed, but in the same spot in the room) with a book of photos of Himself and a lot of wine taken aboard, and sketched him in the dark windy early hours... (whoooo!)... but he never showed up.